Changing history

Kate Coe wrote me today to point out an error in my note on Ralph Lauren and Jay Gatsby (actually a note about a witty article by Cathy Horyn in the NYT). I had written, "It seems that Ralph, not a noted reader, saw the 1974 movie and liked the clothes." (You'll have to click the "Archive" link to the left to find it; it was way back on Jan. 12.) I wasn't paying close enough attention when I read the article. As Kate points out, and Cathy Horyn had made clear, Ralph designed the clothes for the male leads in the 1974 movie.

I thought I could go back and correct it, and it looked like I could. "Blogger" let me open the old note, edit it and republish. But when I looked in the archive, it was still the original text, with its glaring error. I'm glad. Otherwise, we could be going back and back, never admitting to any error. It would be tempting to go back and insert prophecies of things that had already happened.

Speaking of prophecies, Andreas Ramos predicts that the attack on Iraq will come on the night of February 1, regardless of anything the UN or Saddam might do. The reason: It will be the first available moonless night, closely following Bush's Jan. 27 speech, and the air force will prefer bombing on a moonless night. GWB won't want to wait for the next one, March 3, because the desert will be too warm and the issue might be too cold. (Andreas has been fooling around with his astronomy software. He's also been looking at the weather reports in Dante's Inferno, to see if conditions were really as he reported them on those dates. So far, he says, they check out.)